For me the concept of online stores is nothing less than the invention of smartphones. The task of purchasing things that you’d love to have (or, you really…really need..) without having to visit a physical store after a tiring day at office, and then getting it shipped at your doorstep, feels as comforting as doing five different tasks with your phone at the same time.
Well, I am not saying this because I am an ardent online shopper; it’s because we all love to shop online and we know it’s here to stay.
Let’s be upfront, we are here not to promote any platform because it’s one of the reasons why we are certified Affiliated Woo Worker, but because we also think a lot about the people who run these shops. We help them develop, customize a site or a theme, or build new plugins for adding extra functionalities. And this post is another way of extending our helping hand to those who are new to this amazing way of doing business – via WooCommerce.
Without stating the obvious about ‘why WooCommerce and no other platform’, let’s tell you why we recommend WooCommerce to those who cannot decide which ecommerce platform to choose.
It’s been Woo-ing people since 2011. WooCommerce, the ecommerce plugin for WordPress, was developed by the efficient team of developers at WooThemes. Launched in September 2011, WooCommerce presently powers a large chunk of the ever-increasing ecommerce businesses on the web. The plugin enjoys 4 965 895 downloads (eh, yes, that was the exact figure at the time of writing this post!) and the number keeps increasing everytime your refresh its home page. The result – now it powers more than 381,187 websites. Well, that says a lot about ‘why’ this and not others. Simply put, this is a free WordPress plugin just like any other free plugin available at the wordpress.org plugin directory. But, the twist lies in the wonders it can do and the rest can’t.
It doesn’t come with a price tag. There are many standard CMS tools out there to help you set up your online shop, albeit with a price. The killer plugin is absolutely free. It is open source but, we bet, you can’t get your mind off it because of its feature extensive, user-friendliness. (That’s what you look for in a plugin!) If you are on the lookout of an easy-to-operate, free, feature rich, customizable, out-of-the-box solution for your ecommerce platform – your search ends here. Period.
The unbeatable flexibility is ‘The Star’. It’s an open source plugin, make it work for you in every possible way. You need no knowledge of coding or highly technical stuffs to work with the basics. However, to add higher level of functionality to your site, you can reach out for developers like us who are skilled in this platform. Whatever you do with your site, if you know you business and your customers, working with WooCommerce would be easier. Just make sure, the developers you hired are experienced.
It’s ‘The Richie Rich’ when it comes to features. Honestly, to talk about the features of WooCommerce, we would need another separate post. Think of anything that you want to have in a basic ecommerce site, and WooCommerce will show you how it is done! Starting from adding special functionality to getting a professionally designed theme, everything can be taken care of. Group your products, set a sale price, select your payment platforms, with a few clicks. You can sell products of any type – physical, virtual, affiliate, external or even downloadable. For WooCommerce, these are just ‘products’. One more thing for which we love WooCommerce is analytics –a panel that lets you keep a track of your sales data. These are represented through charts and graphs easily understandable and accurate. Well, like I’ve said earlier, these are just the primary features.
Non techies are always welcome. Even if you are new to WooCommerce, it is never going to be a tough shell to crack with some trial and error methods at the initial levels. Just fool around and it would hardly take 5/6 hours for you to get a hold of its basics. For folks having prior knowledge of using WordPress, it’s going to be even smoother. If you switch to WooCommerce from any other platform, you will immediately fall for its ease of use compared to the previous one you’ve been using. So, just install WordPress, get WooCommerce plugin, set them up, and sell your stuffs. A little patience and some handy online tutorials on WooCommerce would do the job for you.
Tweak it until you are happy. It doesn’t come with a price, but acts even better than other platforms that require you to cough off some hard cash. Being free has not made WooCommerce an inflexible piece of technical jargon and there is a huge room for customization. There are many themes available at the WooThemes store that support WooCommerce. Experiment with the look of your site and take it to a level of uniqueness with these themes. You can change the CSS style and colors along with fonts. You can add images, slides, personalized logos too. If you understand codes, even better; tweak the theme code and add special features to it. Go, play!
Extensions are always loved. Aren’t they? WooCommerce extensions are absolute godsend. You will find more than hundred different kinds of extensions here at the WooThemes directory – a place to explore the ways to make a woo-shop unique through these extensions. Some of the extensions available are for free and some require a fee. With extensions you can find apps pertaining to payment gateways, marketing, accounting, etc. ensuring you a site with supreme functionalities.
Want to check out some sites built with WooCommerce? Read these stories and learn what a simple plugin, some great extensions and a group of smart developers can deliver!